Simplified Rules of Order

Procedures Used in Meetings

Determining Results of a Vote

Most motions are decided by a majority vote-more than half the votes actually cast, excluding blanks or abstentions. For example, if 29 votes are cast, a majority (more than 14½) is 15. If 30 votes are cast, a majority (more than 15) is 16. If 31 votes are cast, a majority (more than 15½) is 16.

Some motions (see Table 1) require a two-thirds majority as a compromise between the rights of the individual and the rights of the meeting. To pass, such motions require that at least two-thirds of the votes actually cast (excluding blanks and abstentions) are in the affirmative. If 60 votes are cast, for example, a two-thirds vote is 40. If 61 votes are cast, a two-thirds vote is 41. If 62 votes are cast, a two-thirds vote is 42. If 63 votes are cast, a two-thirds vote is 42.

A plurality vote is the largest number of votes when three or more choices are possible. Unless the association has adopted special rules to the contrary, a plurality vote does not decide an issue unless it is also a majority vote. In a three-way contest, one candidate might have a larger vote than either of the other two, but unless he/she receives more than half of the votes cast, he/she is not declared elected.

The Society Act specifies that the majority required on all "special resolutions" is three-quarters. All amendments to by-laws are "special resolutions," and therefore require the three-quarters majority vote.

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Last changed: 10/08/2002
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